Jacob’s Well has been closed for remainder of the year despite recent rains. Jacob’s Well originally closed due to low flow rate creating stagnant water. Daily Record photo by Lance Winter
Jacob’s Well closes for remainder of the year despite recent rains
Earlier this summer Hays County Parks Supervisor Jay Taylor said the lack of rain was the primary issue for closing Jacob’s Well — one of Hays County’s most popular tourist attractions.
Despite recent rains, not much has improved in the area forcing Hays County to close the park for the remainder of the year.
“We made the decision to close Jacob’s Well to swimming for the remainder of the year. All existing reservations will be canceled and refunded automatically throughout the coming weeks,” Hays County posted to its website Aug. 25th. “We still need significant rainfall to recharge the Trinity Aquifer, which supplies Jacob’s Well. In the meantime, the park remains open for hiking and viewing the spring. We welcome everyone out to explore, take a guided tour this fall, and to learn more about what’s going on at the nature preserve.”
In late June, the county first closed the swimming hole due to a critically low flow rate from the well creating a situation where water had become “stagnant” allowing it to become murky and bacteria to grow.
“This is reminiscent of what we’ve heard it was like between 2008 through 2011 when this area experienced a significant drought. We don’t have records from then because the county wasn’t managing Jacob’s Well at the time. But nearby landowners said the flow rate hit zero and got really bad,” Taylor previously said.
To put it in perspective, the San Marcos River’s current flow rate is 94 cubic feet per second; the Guadalupe River ranges between 100-300; and the Blanco River is currently 6.6. The optimum median flow rate for Jacob’s Well, according to the United States Geological Survey, is 4.4 CFPS.
“Over pumping the aquifer certainly doesn’t help and more growth just creates greater need for water,” Taylor added. “Conservation efforts are always important, but the lack of rain is the main issue.”